16 life-changing skills you can learn online for free


The Internet gets blamed for many societal ailments, including making us dumber, fatter, and ruining our sleep cycles.But what if the Internet could equip you with practical real-world abilities? Whether it’s learning aforeign speech or learning to code, it turns out there’s no dearth of useful knowledge out there on the Internet.

Here are some of our favorite abilities you can learn to do online for free.

1) Grow a garden

Growing plants and vegetables on your own may seem like a daunting chore, especially if no one in your family was blessed with a green thumb. Fortunately, you can take a free course called the “Basics of Botany”through Oregon State University. You’ll learn how to identify different types of plants, as well as other essentials of plant biology.

2) Learn how to be a standup comic

Greg Giraldo/ Youtube

If you’ve ever fantasized about dominating open mic night, standup comic John Roy offers a five-week online standup slapstick class for free. The “class” consists of posts on Roy’s Tumblr, course materialsare YouTube videos of other standup slapstick routines, and homework assignments require you attend a lot of open mics IRL. Given that most standup slapstick class expense a small luck, Roy’s free slapstick class on Tumblr is a great way for novice comics to get their feet wet without draining their wallet.

3) Develop an iPhone app

Convinced you have an idea for the next life-changing app, but lack the skills of an iOSdeveloper? Try your luck at this free, month-long course through Udacity where you’ll learn how to attain your first iPhone app. All students build the same iPhone app( a voice-altering app that attains your voice sound like a Chipmunk or Darth Vader) in the course.

4) Win debates with climate change skeptics

Climate change is a topic that many people get heated up about( no pun intended ), yet few understand the social sciences behind the politics. With “Climate Change: The Science, “a free course through theUniversity of British Columbia, you will learn how to explain global warming to virtually anybody. Students will learn how to evaluate scientific evidence and better understand climate news.

5) Learn the essentials of music production

Ever wondered what it takes to record, edit, and mix your own songs? Berklee College of Music through Coursera offers a free “Introduction to Music Production” course. Students learn how to visualize sound and edit and mix their own ways. While the course is free, there is a cost if students wish to earn a certification of completion.

6) Create your own video games

It’s true: MIT’s teachers will teach you how to design your own video game for free. “Creating Video Games, “an actual course offered to the lucky undergraduates at MIT, is now open to all through MIT’s Open CourseWare. Students will learn all the nuts and bolts of developing a video game, including audio design, visual esthetics, and programming. Now you can finally create that superior version of Fallout 4 that’s been haunting your dreams.

7) Improve your golf

If you want to master your swinging, but don’t wishes to shell out for golfing lessons, you’re in luck. Golf Channel Academyhas hundreds of online video tutorials on how to perfect your golfing technique. Learn how to improve your accuracy, control wedge shooting distance, and other tips-off and tricks of the trade.

8) Get smarter about the stock market

If you’ve just seen the The Big Short , the sobering tale of Wall Street malfeasance, you’re likely curious about financial markets. “The Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market, “a free Udemy course with investor John Ducas, will walk you through the basics of navigating the stock exchange.

9) Launch a startup

Let’s tell free GIF sites such asGiphy don’t quite do the trick and you have a more complicated visual in intellect. You’ll have to buck up and figure outPhotoshop. QuickWayTo has a useful four-step guide on how to do merely that. If you need even more assistance in crafting the Hotline Bling GIFto rule them all, try QuickWayTo’s YouTube tutorial, which you can find above.

13) Develop your dog

Imagine if you could convince Rover to take a selfiewith you, much less stop barking madly at the door any time a visitor knocks. Kikopup’sYouTube channel of dog obedience videos are conversational and easy to understand. Topics covered include dog grooming, safety, and behavior. There’s even a video on how to train yourdog to pose for the camera. Next thing you’ll know, Rover will be one of the most followed puppies on Instagram.

14) Become a DIY know-it-all

Have you ever wanted to learn how to construct your own canoe out of plywood? Or make an LED clock out of a wood block? Or how about a Doctor Who -inspired doghouseshaped like the Tardis? Instructables is where both DIY die-hards and technology geeks gather to share the secrets of their craft. The free online portal of next-generation DIY tutorials is the brainchild of a bunch of MIT alumnus who went on to foundSquid Labs. It contains more than 100,000 user-submitted DIY tutorials, on topics as varied as cook, survival, Raspberry Pi, 3D-printing, solar, knitting, steampunk, and more. Suppose of it as Pinterestwith an advanced degree in mechanical engineering. The level of difficulty for Instructables projects range from basic( i.e. how to make a snow world cocktail) to very advanced( i.e. how to build your own CNC router ).

15) Cook authentic BBQ

How do you work with a butcher to select the best meat for your grill? What does one do with leftover brisket? And what are the steps to cooking BBQ“cowboy style, ” with direct heat and mesquite? BBQ with Franklin , a free 13 -part video series on PBS, will school you on the ins and outs of this classic American cook technique that borders on religion.

16) Learn a foreign speech

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better free speech learning site than Duolingo. The site is founded on the premise that the best approach to teaching a foreign speech is data. The site regularly tests what exercises work the best among users and attains a modification to its curriculum on a weekly basis. As of March, Duolingo has registered more than 70 million users. English users can pick from Spanish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Swedish, Danish, Hindi, and more. There’s even a Duolingo course in Klingon. Photo via Nicolas Alejandro Street Photography / Flickr( CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

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